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DMurf77 09-03-2019 04:03 PM

Respirator Cartridges/Filter type
Hi folks, I'd like to say I'm a newbie but that would be putting the cart before the horse. I'm catching the bug but, I want to get some tools and safety equipment first.

What type of respirator cartridges/filters should I get for stock removal knifemaking? Pretty much the only power tool I have at this point is an angle grinder.


jimmontg 09-04-2019 02:08 AM

Welcome to the club.
I'm an ex asbestos inspector and management planner for schools and OSHA certified on respirators. First off, do you have a beard? If you do you need a full face respirator which are a pain to wear and even they don't work if your beard is too long. That said get a half face respirator, preferably from a place you can go to to be fitted, like an industrial supplier. If you can't be fitted you'll have to guess for a small, medium or large size respirator. Tighten it onto your face and get a violet/purple HEPA filter. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate absolute filter. It blocks particles smaller than most bacteria, or 0.3 microns. Also as a tip I use to tape a layer of paper towel over the ends of the HEPA filter to keep them from getting blocked up too soon. You'll know when it's getting clogged up. I'd remove the paper towel and use the blower end of my shop vac to blow it out. Make sure the vac is clean and blowed out first! Not supposed to do that according to regulations, but it works for some time. An air compressor works too, but don't hold it too close or it will spread the fibers of the filter apart.

The best way to test if it fits you is to use ammonia fainting ampules, or smelling salts and have someone use it around the outside of where the respirator contacts your face. If the mask is the wrong size or not on tight enough you'll get a big dose of smelling salts, aweful. If you don't have smelling salts try a stinky cigar, it blocks the particulates in most smoke that carries the smell. Be aware it is not a fume filter, so if using acetone you'll need a NIOSH approved fume filter, I don't remember the numbers. And gases like carbon monoxide from the smoke is you will need a fresh air supply. Fume or particulate filters don't block gasses.

By the way if you had to buy a mask and it doesn't fit, you cannot return it to a an online company in most cases. So if ordering from some company like MSG be sure and make a good guess. Here's a link to help figure out and remember, if you're breathing dust in small amounts you may not feel it until your coughing up crap. So check and make certain it fits, do the stinky test!

Ed Caffrey 09-05-2019 07:25 AM

Whatever you do.....DO NOT skimp on PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)! A good quality full or half face respirator is a MUST!!

Here's the one I use:

The biggest thing with this mask is that the facepiece is made of a soft silicone, that seals easily and well. Many of the less expensive masks use a harder plastic, that doesn't seal well.

Filters: These are the baseline filters....

Just look for pink colored filters..... that additional numbers/protections are above and beyond baseline particle protection. Just make sure that the filters are rated for whatever you're working with. An example is if/when you get into etching damascus. I am astounded at how many MORONS work with various acids, most of which are VERY dangerous, either without a mask, or with the wrong mask! PAY ATTENTION AND PROTECT YOURSELF!

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